Today is the last day of Black History Month. Tomorrow is the first day of Women’s History Month. Native American Heritage Month lands each November. It’s unfortunate that we have to have these special months to recognize the achievements of people who don’t fall in the white male category. People should be recognized for their accomplishments regardless of gender, race, or culture. But they haven’t been in the past. Chances are they still wouldn’t be without these events.
I’m old enough that in my childhood, history books were filled with people like Andrew Jackson and George Custer. Not Harriet Quimby, Quanah Parker, or Mae Jemison. History was biased.
I recently had a conversation with one of my sons about studying literature. He hates taking English classes because he founds the analysis of literature pretentious and lacking in any lasting value. My favorite classes were always literature classes, no surprise since I’m a writer. I told this English class–hating son that enjoyment of literature and the meanings we derive from different works will always vary, because we all come to the experience of reading from different places. Who we are and what we value has an effect on what we read, whether it’s a mystery novel, classic literature, or history.
History continues to be biased because it’s written from the perspective of the writer, which is formed by the writer’s family, culture, education, and experiences. And in some ways, I think that’s a good thing. We just need more diversity in the telling and sharing of history.
Through Women’s History Month, I have discovered so many fascinating women. I admire them and want to know more about them. And in doing so, it makes me want to be a better woman…to try new things and to make a difference.
I spent slightly over a year writing two books about women—Women Aviators and Women in Space. For this year’s Women’s History’s Month, I will profile my favorite women in history at my Women in Flight Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/WomenInFlight. Come by and meet some of them.